Designing a Living Room Layout

The living room could be a formal space for infrequent guest visits or it may be a family room combination. It all depends on the size of your home design. In large homes you typically see both spaces as separate rooms. In a small house, the living area and family room are usually one in the same because space is limited. So when you are designing a living room layout, it is important to decide what will be the purpose of this room and how to make the most of this space in the home planning and design stages.

What To Consider When Designing A Living Room Layout

Living Room Function

designing a living room layoutAs mentioned above, the living room can serve in at least two capacities. The most relevant function (in its formal state) is to serve as a reception room for short guest visits. It’s a space the family rarely use and is usually kept neat and clean. This is the ideal space to invite persons who are not close friends or family. However, some homeowners are less likely to use a living room in this manner. Many prefer to use this square footage for daily family activities. If the house is particularly small, the living room is often shared as an entertainment space. Other uses may be a library, music room, home office, or study.


A living room, used as a counter part to a formal dining room, should generally be located at the front of the home near the entrance. However the entrance should not lead directly into the living room if at all possible. A foyer should buffer the living from the front door. This space should not provide traffic access to the sleeping areas or service areas of the house. This type of design is typical of a closed floor plan, where the living room is completely closed off to other rooms with walls.

The living room may be centrally located in smaller homes. Since the space will also be used as a family room, it must be accessible from all areas. This type of layout is common in open floor plan designs.

Size and Shape

The following dimensions are general guidelines to use when designing a living room layout.

Small living room
Possible dimension arrangements: 11 to 12 feet in width, 15 to 16 feet in length (165 to 192 sf)
[12 ft is a better option as a minimum but if it’s not possible, try to add inches between 11 and 12 ft to maximize the width.]
Ideal sizes for use in small one story homes or two-story homes with a small footprint. Also good for a formal room where there is ample square footage for a separate and much larger family room.

Medium living room
Possible dimension arrangements: 13 to 14 feet in width, 16 to 18 feet in length (208 to 252 sf) Ideal measurements for a family room in a small to midsize home. These dimensions are also a perfect guide for a separate formal living room in larger more luxurious homes with the additional square footage.

Large living room
Possible dimension arrangements: 15 to 18 feet plus in width, 20 to 22 feet plus in length (300 to 396 sf plus) Ideal size for the purpose of a large family room in midsize to luxury homes.

Now find out what you should do to design a dining room layout that compliment the formal living room design.